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By Christian Vits
FRANKFURT (MNI) - The European Central Bank is confident that the current
solid growth momentum in the currency bloc will hold beyond the turn of the
"The Economic Sentiment Indicator suggests that there will be a continued,
unabated increase in real GDP across the euro area over the near term, with most
countries experiencing this trend," the ECB said in its latest Economic
Bulletin, published Thursday.
"However, financial services are not included in the ESI. This is a
shortcoming because the financial sector affects real GDP and developments in
this sector can be very different to those in the rest of the economy, as seen
during the financial crisis," the report said.
From the viewpoint of the more hawkish ECB Council members, the robust
recovery, with 18 consecutive quarters of economic growth, suggests bringing
further expansion of the central bank's balance sheet to an end.
At the sectoral level, the November confidence indicators underlying the
ESI were at a record high for manufacturing and close to an all-time high for
the consumer sector, retail trade and construction, according to the ECB.
"The latter sector, in particular, displayed a remarkable cyclical
upswing," the bank said.
--MNI Frankfurt Bureau; +49 69 97782671; email: firstname.lastname@example.org